Familiar with Albert Einstein and J.K Rowling? Here is another one: Lary Page, co founder of Google. All of these famed personalities are introverts. Feeling good about yourself, eh?
Having an introvert personality is perfectly okay. Just because you don’t like to share as much what’s on your mind, doesn’t make you any less of a valuable being than others. But as you move up to a higher job position socializing will become necessary, at least to the bare minimum.
The good news is, transforming to an extrovert or more social personality is entirely possible. Carl Jung theorized that people have both an introverted and an extroverted side, but one side will be more dominant than the other.
The first step is to expose yourself to social situations which you have been avoiding for so long. Alison Green recognizes that for introverts going to such events may be a ‘battle’, so you really need to be determined. Even if it’s for a couple of hours, “starting by just vowing to show up” says Green. After a time you won’t have to force yourself, it will become natural, you’ll see!
So exactly what to do at these occasions? Don’t feel insecure that you may be the only introvert out there. There are plenty of other fish like you in the sea. Being prepared before you attend will help you during the initial stages. “Anticipate a conversation, prepare a story, or think ahead about what open-ended questions you can ask people” advises Eva Rykrsmith. “Find out exactly who you are meeting, what you’ll be doing, and how long you’ll likely stay” adds Alexandra Levit. Green says as long as you “make some attempt at conversation, you’ll be fine.”
A good approach, proposed by Levit is to fake your confidence and motivation to interact with others around you, until it comes to you naturally. Overtime you will start to feel more comfortable and these situations will no longer intimidate you.
Levit recognizes that these events are particularly “energy-depleting” for introverts. If you start to feel low on your energy reserves during such situations allow yourself to take a couple of moments to relax by yourself. But don’t chill out too much or else you will start feeling comfortable in this familiar zone, (which you worked so hard to step out of), or the rest of the event will be a waste.
As an introvert you might have different aspects of your personality that you need to work on to expose your extrovert side. Identify these personality traits. It will help to tackle each of these aspects one at a time. For example, attending one social gathering you might want to entirely focus on just expressing yourself more effectively. That should give you a clearer goal instead of just trying to ‘socialize’ more.
Rather than just than telling yourself that ‘I have to be more social’ and blindly working towards that, view each social occasion separately that helps you reach this goal. Each event you pull yourself to attend is one more event that gets you closer to the extrovert side of your personality. At the end of the day you may feel like you have ‘survived’ the event. Allow yourself to feel good about this. And what’s a better way to rejoice than some quiet, alone time with yourself after the party?
Remember transforming into a more social personality does not happen overnight.
There will be days where you may feel like giving up and just curl up with a good book for an evening of alone-time. But if you are really determined, everyday will be a new beginning for you. Happy socializing!
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